Head On (video game)

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Head On
Sega Head On.png
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Gremlin
Platform(s) Arcade
Release
  • NA: April 1979
Genre(s) Driving, maze
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Sega VIC Dual
CPU Zilog Z80 @ 1.93356 MHz
Display Raster, 256 × 224, horizontal orientation

Head On is an arcade game released in 1979 by Sega. Cars continuously drive forward through rectangular channels in a simple maze. At the four cardinal directions are gaps where a car can change lanes. The goal is to collect dots in the maze while avoiding collisions with the computer-controlled car that is also collecting dots. It's the first maze game where the goal is to eat dots, and Head On is considered a precursor to Namco's 1980 hit Pac-Man.[1]

Head On proved a popular concept to clone for home systems. Clones include Car Wars for the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, Killer Car for Spectravideo, Car Chase for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Dodge 'Em for the Atari 2600, Dodge Racer for the Atari 8-bit family, and Tunnels of Fahad for the TRS-80. Konami's Fast Lane arcade game, released in 1987, is Head On with improved graphics and some additional features.

A very similar sequel was released the same year as the original: Head On 2. It was licensed to Nintendo and released as Head On N.[2][3]

A spiritual successor, Pac-Car, was released for the Sega SG-1000. The version features updated graphics, a faux 3D environment, multiple enemy cars that chase the player in varying ways, tunnels that exit the maze, and Power Pellets that are produced by the player to eliminate enemy cars. These additions make it more like a Pac-Man clone.

Ports[edit]

Head On was ported to the Commodore 64 in 1982, as well as the Commodore VIC-20, Apple II, and Nintendo Game Boy. The Game Boy port is by Tecmo. Head On later appeared in the Sega Saturn collection Sega Memorial Selection Vol.1 and in the PlayStation 2 collection Sega Ages Vol. 23. A mobile phone exclusive version titled Sonic's Head On was released exclusively in Japan in 2000.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Forgotten Gems of the Maze Chase Genre, The Next Level
  2. ^ Gorges, Florent (2010). The History of Nintendo, Pix'n Love Publishing
  3. ^ "Forgottendo: 10 Nintendo Games You've Probably Never Heard Of". USgamer.net. Retrieved 2016-02-14.